The recently launched One Ocean Hub led by Elisa Mogera and Daniella Diz Pereira Pinto from Strathclyde University just completed a series of three inception workshops in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Accra/Cape Coast in Ghana and Suva, Fiji. These early workshops aimed to facilitate exchanges between the different regional sites for the ONE OCEAN HUB (OOH) to surface areas of expertise in each region, as well as listen to critical areas of concern with regards to ocean health. The One Ocean Hub is aiming to respond to the current disconnect across sectors and levels in local, national and international marine governance; and aims to transform our response to the urgent challenges facing our ocean, through innovative collaboration and transformative, transgressive and transdisciplinary research approaches. It is therefore no surprise that the OOH is drawing inspiration, advice and expertise from the experienced t-learning research network, who has worked across nine countries, and across disciplines, and developed innovative approaches to co-design and collaborative research in complex nexus issues. Dr. Dylan McGarry, a co-director of the HUB’s transformative governance research programme has been working in the t-learning research school as a post doc researcher for the past four years, and now is bringing these insights into the OOH praxis. A critical aspect and challenge facing the Hub is to conduct research that bridges current disconnections in law, science and policy and integrate governance frameworks to balance multiple ocean uses with conservation. It strives to empower the communities, women and children, most reliant upon the oceans, to inform decisions based on multiple values and knowledge systems. The aim is to predict, harness and share equitably environmental, socioeconomic and cultural benefits from ocean conservation and sustainable use. The Hub will also identify hidden trade-offs between more easily monetized fishing or mining activities and less-understood values of the ocean’s deep cultural role, function in the carbon cycle, and potential in medical innovation.

A critical component of the entire HUB strategy is the co-defining matters of concern and the co-creation of the research process across the different regions and across different disciplines. These early workshops relied heavily on methodologies and methods from the t-learning network (particularly around innovations in co-design processes). We look forward to hearing more from this new sister research community.

Caption image 1: A fisherman in Ghana waits on a Tuesday in Anaafo – to go fishing. Tuesday’s are closed days for fishing where no fishing is allowed. On these days fisher folk repair nets and their boats for another week out at sea (up to 50 miles) in their hand carved canoes. On this day they spent some of the time sharing their critical matters of concern with the OOH team as part of the early inception phase discussions  in Ghana. While the artisanal fishers obey the customary laws to not fish on a Tuesday- they express their frustration over the competition with large industrial trawlers over declining fish stocks.

Caption Image 2:  Traditional Sailers from the Uto Ni Yalo Trust , teach the OOH hub how to sail a Vaka, a traditional double hulled Fijian sailing vessel. Surfacing tangible heritage like how to build these boats, as well as intangible heritage, such as how to navigate according to the movement of migrant birds and changes in current, temperature and the movement of clouds is something this crew is surfacing and teaching young people in the region. Recently they sailed to New Zealand, Hawaii and California using no compass or charts, relying entirely on their ancient navigational techniques